My first novel was published 16 February. Here are a few of the reviews thus far.
Demented narrator Rachel’s a kind of dysfunctional debutante. The daughter of vast wealth, she’s got through four marriages, endless drugs, breakdowns, therapy and rehab, all in search of the one thing money can’t buy. This is the love of her childhood sweetheart Jack, who’s with someone else and not interested.
The book’s a crazy mixed bag: sometimes dialogue, sometimes prose, moving back and forth in time and between degradation and glamour.
Restless Rachel might wake up in the Four Seasons penthouse, or sprawled on the floor with someone else’s wet dog.
Will she ever slow down and find happiness?
Very funny, fizzing with one-liners and sparkling with a febrile wit.
– Wendy Holden – The Daily Mail
‘I first realised I loved Jack the day he drowned,’ begins Amy Burns’ novel, setting the reader up for a wistful tale on the pitfalls of a modern, melancholic romance. Don’t buy into it. There’s nothing romantic about this darkly witty road trip through the bumpy highway of a young woman’s mind. Instead, it’s about the anti-romance of reconciling life and love, finding your place in an imperfect family, and the way our flaws are exposed and exploited by the people closest to us.
Burns takes us through the life of Rachel, a serial divorcee and recovering drug addict, with acerbic pragmatism. Her sister never warmed to her because ‘she was expecting a puppy’. Her mother tried to poison her father when she suspected an affair. Jack is the love of her life, but actually, Jack’s a bit of a douche. He’s also married, distant and an imperfect representation of the idyllic life Rachel craves.
If you like novels with linear plots and a neat little ending, this isn’t for you. If instead, you want a book that is as honest, fractured and occasionally as hilarious as life itself, Leaving Is My Colour will look good on you.
– Rebeccca Monks – The List
Relentless, delicious mischief spills from this family’s eye-popping dysfunction. Whipsmart and wickedly witty – as Rachel careens towards rock-bottom, no-one who tries to get near her stands a chance.
– Kate Tough, author of Head for the Edge, Keeping Walking
A roller coaster ride of droll wit, and often laugh out loud one-liners, Leaving is My Colour puts us inside the head of four-times-married and love-starved Rachel. From her defective and wealthy family to Jack, her first love, and her drug rehabilitation and therapy sessions, she tells us about the absurdity of her life with no holds barred.
Rachel dips into significant episodes from her past and gradually we build a picture of this complex young woman, and learn of what she’s wanted all along. The book is written in a non linear way, yet comes together as a seamless, and very funny, whole.
– Maureen Vincent-Northam, Author
Loved it! The narrator, Rachel, takes us on a tartly funny journey through her life, in which she has lurched from one bad decision to another, barely stopping to pause for breath. ‘Halloween, 1969. I was born. My three-year-old sister wasn’t happy. Julie had asked for a puppy and they brought me home instead.’ It’s all downhill from there, as Rachel wisecracks her way through disappointments, many self inflicted. Often laugh-out-loud funny, Amy Burns has the word skills and timing of a stand-up comedian, while pulling off the difficult act of dealing with the serious subject of mental health with both humour and sensitivity. A great debut novel from an appealing new voice.
– Nicola Taylor, Author/Tutor
Rachel grew up in a dysfunctional family of what she thought was modest means until the day her father decided to announce they were rich. She was in and out of counseling sessions from the time she was a child when her hateful sister Julie claimed she was sexually active just for spite. Through drug addiction, rehab, and several failed marriages she never forgot about her first childhood sweetheart Jack, but it’s a hard lesson to learn that letting go of the past is the only way to find our future. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, Rachel’s sarcastic humor kept me turning the pages.
– Irene, Goodreads
I read this through in a brilliant three hours non stop. So many laughs, such an original voice and such a satisfactory ending. Rachel is the kind of gal you want to spend evenings with while being glad you aren’t her. Her mother is also fabulous in a truly awful way. Her Father is like a fairy godfather. This is such an entertaining, funny, true to life book. Enjoy it and pass it on!
– Katherine G. Abbott, Amazon Reviewer
Rachel thrashes her way through life, trying to push and pull it into some sort of shape, wise-cracking from within her bouts of despair, without ever appreciating that life (and her family: especially her family) simply won’t do as it is bid. Her childhood is riddled with family-induced insecurities, her teenage years by an unrewarding infatuation with Jack, her ‘adult’ years by addictions various and behaviour self-destructive until… until…
No, I won’t spoil it. All I can say is ‘read it’. It’s a very clever and very funny book that satirises just about anything it can lay its literary hands on. I’m going to read it again. Right now.
– Amazon Customer
What fun and wild ride with Rachel! She is so witty, sassy and deeply troubled. Amy Burns did a wonderful job with this book and I can’t wait to read more from her.
– Cathy Parker, Amazon
You just can’t help but love Rachel! She’s weirdly wacky and terribly troubled but the author, Amy Burns, kept me enthralled in the crazy tale of her life. And somehow makes it humorous too. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more by this new writer.
– MP Ryan, Amazon
It’s almost like a collection of short stories the way that all the reminiscences are given their own chapters, and it’s also a little like an American Housewife take on Ferrante. You’ll love Rachel, because although she’s a mess she’s honest and realistic. She’s an incredbile character that will stay with you long after you’ve finished this book.
– Hannah Bookseller Review Waterstones Edinburgh West End
Such a great book, have to take a moment to highlight it. Provocative, witty and above all enthralling.It plays around with narrative structure to great effect but delivers in the essential art of a good story told.
– Silem Renk, Amazon
Great book. Loved reading it. Read it in 3 evenings because I could not put it down. Five stars
– Amy Whitfield, Amazon
Amy Burns brings us the indelible character of Rachel. Smart, sassy, recently rich and deeply troubled. Rachel’s dysfunctional family has made Rachel a neurotic, yet lovable mess. For anyone who has struggled with identity within their own screwed up family, you will empathize and be highly entertained by Rachel’s antics. Fun read!
– BabeOBooks, Amazon
This is a fast-paced novel which is rare in that it provides something for those of us who love literary fiction and humor. On the surface, the characters might seem glib but there is a lot to be learned from the complex relationships in this dysfunctional family. I loved Rachel and her wit but found that I also loved the cast of supporting characters – especially Phillip and the mother and father. This novel had me crying in one part (I won’t spoil it) and it had me laughing throughout.
– The Fifth Reviewer, Amazon
You are my new favorite author! Amy Burns this book is brilliant! I found so much common ground with Rachel it was uncanny at times! Her realizations and struggles were very thought provoking, her journey to her final realization so familiar…Amy this book… I loved it…can’t wait until the next!
– Lynn Gordon Jones
I understand it is customary to complete an entire book before submitting a review, but… I’m not even half way done and I’m hooked! Love it!
– Sad kid dad, iTunes
Funny with just the right amount of dark. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Looking forward to seeing what Mrs. Burns comes out with next.
– Amazon Customer
I could totally see this book being made into a movie. The characters can be perfectly horrible at times but that’s what I loved most about them! The family is blissfully dysfunctional and wisecracking Rachel is caught right in the middle of it. There are tender moments in the novel, though. While it made me laugh a lot, it also made me think too. Although it is funny, it is poignant at the same time, dealing with mental health issues and addiction. I love the mother character! Hilarious.
– Kindle Customer, Amazon
Dark and unconventional, but so funny – in a first world tragic kind of way.
– Laura Gillespie, Goodreads
This is a really funny book. Rachel, bless her heart, is a lovable mess. I couldn’t help but keep reading just to see what she would get into next. There is more to it than meets the eye. Her family isn’t close and it seems like they’re awful to each other but, it really is a real-life-glimpse at how we can hurt the ones we love most. I cheered at the ending and loved all the characters, despite their faults – especially her fantastic mother and father!
– Laraine Stewart, Goodreads
This book is creative and fun roller coaster ride through the life of an addict trying to run from life. I loved the dysfunction and the family dynamics. The way the book was written by giving just a little history at a time made me read til the wee hours to see what was next. I can’t wait for more from Amy Burns.
– Leslie H, Amazon
Reading a book like Amy Burn’s novel, “Leaving is My Colour”, is like watching a skilled juggler keep numerous balls in the air. One marvels not only how many balls the juggler can manage, but also how long she can keep them up. Burns keeps a lot of facets of Rachel Bennett’s life aloft at once: drug addiction and rehabilitation, dysfunctional family, multiple marriages, unrequited love, and caring friends, all serious subjects, but Burns infuses all of them with a pervasive, charming wit. They come at you in a dizzying, hilarious array, and part of the enjoyment of the novel is admiration for how Burns never drops one ball until she is ready, and when she does, it’s at the perfect moment, the moment she has been leading the reader to all along, the moment the reader has been wishing for without actually knowing it.
To accomplish this takes a mastery of the craft.I highly recommend this book.
– D.G. Wisker, Amazon
I love you! The book was amazing. What is funny is I read it in your voice. It was like having a reunion talk with you. Going from one of our screw ups to another and always being able to circle back around to any fore mentioned topic and keep going. I literally laughed out loud many times. I learned some new vocab words and was reintroduced to some I had forgotten I knew!! I loved the mother in the story… “she would abort me now if she could”. Felicia was the best. I want to hang out with her pretentious ass.
I bought all my employees the book. The ones that have finished it loved it too. We are in a warped field and it’s like hearing the story of some of our folks!!
– Leslie Heatherly Holland
What a hoot this book is!!! Rachel is a character…lol…The writing which brings us into the life of a drug addict and her family is sometimes sad, sometimes funny. I found myself wanting to get back to reading this book when I had other things to do. The way Rachel deals with her family will keep you glued to the pages. Very entertaining book and one I would recommend if you want a light hearted read. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the advanced copy of the book in return from my honest review.
– vnunez- msluv2read, Amazon
Both funny and serious. I easily related to Rachel! Poor decisions, not fitting in any particular place, total dysfunctional family life! Taking every direction except the right one to discover what she wanted was just in front of her all along. I laughted and cried, but couldn’t put it down! Can’t wait for the next novel from Amy Burns!
– Lynn J, Amazon
This is a must read! So funny and a great style, crying out to be filmed. Can’t wait for the next Burns novel 🙂
Amazon Customer, Amazon
This book is fun and cleverly written – you’ll want to read it all in a single sitting. It reminded me a little of The First Bad Man by Miranda July but Burns allows her readers to enjoy the tale in seemingly effortless style. Buy a copy, buy a few – what else would you get friends for birthdays and Christmas?!
Ace beach read by @Amy_E_Burns. I love @FreightBooks. Thanks for recommendation & loan, @somefiasco.
Emily Morris, Author of My Shitty Twenties (Twitter)